Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian miner Teck pushes forward with plan to expand Chile copper mine

Company submits regulatory assessment for life-extension project at Quebrada Blanca mine



VANCOUVER—Teck Resources Ltd. has filed a Social and Environmental Impact Assessment with regional regulators to push forward an expansion project at a copper mine in northern Chile.

The company is looking to extend the life of its Quebrada Blanca mine, located about 240 kilometres southeast of Iquique, Chile. It estimates the capital cost of the project will range between US$4.5 billion and $5 billion while adding 25 years of life to the mine. The work would include the construction of a new concentrator, a new port facility, as well as a desalination plant and related pipelines.

“Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 is a long-life asset that will operate through multiple price cycles and generate significant value for many years,” Don Lindsay, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Lindsay said the regulatory submission highlights the economic and social benefits of the project as well as the environmental mitigation measures the company would build into the new mine site.

As Chilean regulators begin assessing the work, Teck said it does not expect to make a decision on whether to proceed with the project before mid-2018. Along with regulatory approvals, the Canadian miner said the investment would be contingent on market conditions.

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